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Same-sex couples can now legally marry in Michigan

There are an estimated 15,000 same-sex couples who reside in Michigan. However, because Michigan passed a law in 2004 which essentially banned same-sex marriage in the state by defining legal marriage to be only between a man and a woman or heterosexual couples, same-sex couples could not marry in Michigan, and could not have the same rights and benefits that heterosexual couples enjoyed.

However, Michigan residents may have been excited to learn that a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled that banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Following this recent historic U.S. Supreme Court decision, same-sex marriage is now legal throughout the U.S., including in Michigan.

The impetus for change came about when a same-sex couple in Michigan filed a lawsuit against the state in 2012 because they could not adopt a child together as a couple. That lawsuit against state resulted in over three years of a long legal process, including a nine-day long federal trial which ultimately lead to a Supreme Court review of the couples case, and at least three other cases from three different states as well.

Now that same-sex marriage is legalized in the U.S., same-sex couples are free to apply for a marriage license in the state, can file their taxes jointly as a married couple, can file for joint adoptions and can draft a prenuptial agreement if they choose to do so. Any Michigan resident who may be affected by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling may want to get more information in order to understand their legal rights.

Source: MLive Media Group, "Michigan gay marriage ban overturned by Supreme Court," Alex McDougall, June 26, 2015

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